Four proven ways to improve your marketing ROI

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Harvey Hirsch
Harvey Hirsch

Learn how to wield data

The days of static messages being mass mailed to untested lists are gone. The mass communications theories of the 60s have been replaced with the personalization technology of the 21st Century. Savvy marketers are enjoying the benefits of parsing data to version messages and illustrative materials for these segmented prospects. This clever tactic insures that the right person now gets the best pitch with the right offers, in a specific time period, whether in print or online. It requires that data is collected, cleaned, massaged and deployed.

Learn the power of digital printing.

With the evolution of high quality on-demand printing, the short run testing of variable messages is the most important step before rolling out any program. If done correctly, it will generate the attention necessary to drive prospect interest into the rest of the campaign. More importantly, it will become the force for successful marketing program roll outs. Here's why. Test, test, test, in short, economical runs. Test your lead-in pitch, test your appointment-setting pitch, test your sales close strategies, in short stop thinking big expensive mail drops versus short, targeted dynamic mailers. Get instant results and modify to fine tune each phase. Then test again.

Learn non-traditional ways to incorporate direct mail into your multimedia campaigns.

With the average business recipient overloaded with messages on a daily basis, a well-conceived mailer will encourage interaction and acceptance in many recipients. This is critical in getting your message to the frontal cortex of your prospect and not being discarded. For effective assimilation of information to take place it must get the reader emotionally. Very few email blasts can do that. Direct mail still has the power to move resistance in the receiver, if addressing the need of each recipient individually.

More importantly, it is vital that the direct mail piece generates interest in nanoseconds. In order for this to take place, you may have to get away from the traditional rectangle and employ a shaped postcard or dimensional product. With traditional mailing programs generating an average of .005%, a personalized shaped postcard (fig.1) or personalized dimensional package (fig 2) can harvest double digit responses. A URL in the piece should support the program. This could entail upgrading your site to incorporate short videos that can explain more about the benefits of your service or product.

Learn how 21st century marketing strategies are being deployed and emulate them!

You don't necessarily have to reinvent the wheel. Attend the marketing seminars put out by your industry associations and listen to the experts. These professionals are sharing data culled from their experience and it will help you avoid pitfalls. Read books and articles by leading innovators in marketing. It will spark ideas.

Learn to position yourself differently

This is the hardest part but can be the difference between success and failure. It's not easy thinking in non-traditional ways, but in order to have your program stand out, you need to do more dynamic marketing. This also means that you have to re-think the way your media will reach the prospect and how much you are willing to spend to get that contact. When putting a budget together, first define the worth of a new customer, whether it is based on one-time sale, monthly activity or the life of that customer. If you can keep customers, what is the average spending per year? What would you be willing to spend in order to capture a new client? For instance, if a new client is worth $20k annually, with a gross profit of 40%, then, if you developed a program that would predictably deliver one new client appointment a week, it would be worth it to spend $10,000 to $12,000 on the program to develop it and $1,000 per week to maintain it.

The average direct mail response rate which for years hovered at 0.5% has dropped significantly to 0.01% and in most cases, the mailing generated nothing.  When you add up all of the costs associated with the 99.9% of the programs that fail to generate even a break-even return, short, targeted, personalized pitches stand out as more conservative to the accounting department and more dynamic to the marketers.

Your best opportunity to meet your next client is by letting them know what they are worth to you right up front.

harvey@mediaconsultants.net

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